25 August 2015

Tips On Being An Aupair

children laughing
(source: pinterest)

After graduating from high school in 2013 it was time for new adventures. I wanted to leave my old life behind and just go somewhere. New experiences, tons of new memories, meeting new people - that's all I wanted. That's why I decided to move to London and be an Aupair, and you know what? It was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life.
Not only will you improve your second language and live in an amazing new country/city, you will also grow. You will grow with every responsibility, every new task, every problem you solve and eventually you will find out what you really want in life. You will start to appreciate yourself and others, especially your parents more. You will learn about your personal values and priorities and how to achieve your goals. I'm not gonna lie: it will be tough and you might struggle with homesickness. Being an Aupair is a huge responsibility since you are looking after (young) children. It is really fun and an incredible feeling watching them learn new stuff like reading, but it's hard work as well. You have to make sure they are safe and happy, which can be hard in the beginning since you and the kids have to bond.
As an Aupair one of your duties will also be running the household. It depends on your family how much you will be in charge of it but as far as I know it consists of cooking, keeping the house tidy and other bits and bobs.

Most of the new Aupairs are arriving around August/September and since I have been an Aupair for almost 1 1/2 years in total I thought I'd share some of the most important things you need to know if you decide to become one as well.

1. Hire an agency

Hiring an agency will make your life so much easier. You can be sure that your future host family has been approved and if anything goes wrong you can actually contact someone. Your agency will support you regarding questions/needs and they will make sure that you and your family are compatible.

2. Say "No"

Your agency will send you portfolios with different families and you can decide which one you want to Skype with. Portfolios usually contain a letter to the future Aupair, a form and pictures of the family. Read everything carefully and just make sure how you feel about it. Are you okay with the duties? Do you think you will get on well together? Do you feel comfortable?
If you're not: tell your agency about it and read the next portfolio until you are happy with a family you want to Skype with.

3. Be yourself

I was so nervous and excited when I decided to Skype with the first family. I can give you just one simple advice on this: inhale, exhale, don't worry and be yourself. Have a nice casual chat, ask them questions about their daily routine, if they had Aupairs before and about your duties. Tell them about yourself and what you expect. After the "interview" you can decide whether you want to talk again or not. The second/third talk is usually the most important one because you decide if you want to be their Aupair. Once you made a decision the real adventure is starting.

4. Keep yourself busy

The first few weeks will be hard. You are living in a different country in a different house with people you don't even really know. Try to spend some quality time with your host family, talk to them and simply get to know each other. You can attend a language school to improve the language and meet other Aupairs in your area. Meet up for coffees or plan play dates with the kids, explore your neighbourhood and spend some time on your own. Keeping yourself busy will help you to settle down and most importantly reduce homesickness.

5. Give the best you can

Make sure you fulfill all the tasks efficiently and with a clear conscience. The family hired you to help and support them, and since being at work all day they can't do certain stuff. Make their life easier by doing little things like taking the garbage out, preparing dinner, etc.
You can also integrate the kids by making it fun. What about a competition: "who will be the fastest tidying up all the toys?" If they are older they can also help you prepare a meal. They can measure out liquid, stir the sauce or even cut up veggies.

6. Talk to your host parents

If anything is not going how you expected (i.e. jobwise) and you are unhappy, talk to your host parents. Tell them how you feel and why you are concerned. It is better to talk about it then to ignore it because it will pile up and lead to frustration and you won't be able to enjoy your time abroad.
If it doesn't get better you can contact your agency and explain your concern objectively. They will support you and - in the worst/best case - you can change the family.

7. Enjoy

Okay, so far it sounded like you have to work, work, work, but I guarantee, you will also have time off. Sometimes it can be overwhelming so get out of the house. Meet your new friends for some drinks, go out on the weekends and travel. When you are in America you have the opportunity to visit  all this amazing places and it is so much cheaper to fly intercontinentally.
Try the local food and learn about the country's history and culture. Take pictures, make new experiences and get involved. By doing this you will have the time of your life. And that's what you deserve.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! You can also write me an email at
nexttolondon@gmail.com  and I will respond asap!

Take care x


12 comments

  1. Ich möchte in den nächsten Jahren auch mal für einen längeren Zeitraum ins Ausland gehen, bzw. dort sogar mal arbeiten und leben.
    Deine Tipps sind super :-)

    Liebe Grüße
    Julia

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    1. danke dir! ich wünsche dir viel Erfolg x

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  2. Toller Post und sehr gute Tipps. Das war bestimmt eine großartige Erfahrung und sehr gute Entscheidung als Aupair nach London zu gehen :)
    Liebe Grüße, Mona von Belle Mélange

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  3. Great tips! I've been thinking about working as an aupair for quite a while now, so these come in really helpful! :)
    Urban Obsessions // Vegan Food, Beauty & Lifestyle

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    1. sounds great, you won't regret it! x

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  4. Super Tipps! Die hab ich mir gleich mal abgespeichert, da ich vorhabe Nacht er Schule etwas ähnliches zu machen..:)
    Liebe Grüße!

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    1. Das freut mich! Weißt du schon wo es hingehen soll? :) x

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  5. A friend of mine did Au-Pair in Germany. Your experience would totally depend on the family you get! These are fab tips! If I hear from anyone they would like to try Au-Pair, I will be sharing!
    So nice you're sharing your own experience <3 Hope you are enjoying yourself a lot! :)
    xox Nadia
    http://mielandmint.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. Das ist echt gut geschrieben und sehr interessant. Ich mags auch, dass es in englisch ist. Ich glaube vor dem Skype'interview' hätte ich auch richtig bammel und wäre aufgeregt. Ich will auch selbst nach der Schule erstmal weg. Aupair möchte ich eher nicht machen , ich finde es schöner ganz viele zu reisen. Work and travel ist da eher was für mich.

    Www.Leania-MeineNormaleWelt.blogspot.com

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  7. Great tips! I am loving your blog right now, check out mine?
    http://justmorgs.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Ich war auch Au pair allerdings in Irland und ich muss sagen es war eine super tolle Erfahrung, die ich wirklich nicht missen möchte!
    Ich habe meine liebe Familie auf aupair-world.com gefunden. Ich finde diese Seite auch ganz gut, da man nichts zahlen muss und die Bedienung sehr einfach ist. Und man außerdem die Möglichkeit hat viele Familien zu kontaktieren und sich gleich einen Überblick über Bilder und Konditionen verschaffen kann. Kann ich auch nur empfehlen :)

    Liebste Grüße,
    Nina von http://good-morningstarshine.blogspot.de/

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  9. Super geschrieben und danke für die Tipps! :)
    Liebst, Vanessa

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Maira Gall